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5 ways to make and save money with the sharing economy

Families and friends have been sharing resources for centuries, trading a few homegrown veggies for a lift into the city or fixing a fence in return for a couple of hours babysitting. Today, the sharing economy has ramped things up, and sharing offers valuable opportunities to earn or save a little extra. Here are five ideas to get you started.

1. Put your car to work

If you own a car, becoming an Uber driver can be a smart way to make your car pay its way. Uber drivers in Australia earn an average of $35 to $40 per hour before Uber takes its 25% cut.  If you don’t fancy ferrying people around, sites like Car Next Door let you hire out your vehicle for $25-$40 a day.

2. Rent out that spare space

If you’re travelling for work or pleasure it can pay to look at alternative accommodation options. Private homes booked through the likes of Airbnb or Stayz don’t just provide a more authentic experience, they can also deliver valuable savings. Or, if you have a spare room, consider renting it out for short term accommodation. Airbnb hosts can earn around $15,000 per year.  

3. Support a commuter

Finding a car spot is a daily grind for many commuters. If you have an empty garage or vacant driveway, consider renting it out on sites like Park Hound and pocket extra cash while giving a commuter affordable parking.

4. Sell your skills

So you’re handy with a drill and hammer or a real green thumb in the garden. Sell your skills through sharing sites like Air Tasker. From home cleaning to providing the muscle to move furniture, Air Tasker puts people with a skill in touch with those who need affordable help.   

5. Turn unwanted stuff into the folding stuff

You probably have a mountain of stuff you only use occasionally – a formal suit, that Louis Vuitton handbag or a fishing boat, which only leaves dry dock a couple of times each year. Instead of selling these items, rent them out. Sites like Rentoid offer an avenue to hire out infrequently used possessions. An angle grinder can command $30 a day, a spare fridge $60 per month, or that antique dining suite could fetch $500 a month.   

Before embarking on the sharing economy do plenty of research to know exactly where you stand. If you’re renting out a spare room for instance, check your home and contents insurance to see if you’re covered for any damage. And always read the fine print on a sharing website for a clear idea of your rights and responsibilities no matter whether you’re a customer or a provider.  

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